Why L Brands Earnings Fell Flat

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L Brands Inc. (NYSE: LB) released its fiscal first-quarter results after the markets closed on Wednesday. Despite decent quarterly results, it wasn’t enough to offset especially weak guidance. By the looks of it, the rest of 2018 won’t be any easier for this retailer.

The company posted $0.17 in earnings per share (EPS) on $2.63 billion in revenue, while consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for $0.18 in EPS and $2.59 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $0.33 in EPS on $2.44 billion in revenue.

During the quarter, comparable sales increased 3%, much better than the 9% decrease seen in last year’s first quarter. The latest increase consisted of Victoria’s Secret comps increasing only 1% but Bath & Body Works comps increasing 8%.

In terms of its segment sales, the company reported as follows:

  • Victoria’s Secret sales decreased 5% year over year to $1.59 billion.
  • Bath & Body Works sales increased 5% to $760.4 million.

Looking ahead to the 2018 fiscal full year, the company actually decreased its guidance. L Brands now expects to see EPS in the range of $2.70 to $3.00, down from the previously issued guidance of $2.95 to $3.25. The consensus estimates call for $3.14 in EPS and $13.1 billion in revenue for the year.

As for the second quarter, EPS is expected to be between $0.30 and $0.35. Consensus estimates are $0.45 in EPS and $2.89 billion in revenue.

Excluding Thursday’s move, L Brands has vastly underperformed the broad markets, with its stock down about 32% in the past 52 weeks. In just 2018 alone, the stock is down over 43%.

Shares of L Brands closed Wednesday at $34.05, with a consensus analyst price target of $44.83 and a 52-week trading range of $30.70 to $63.10. Following the announcement, the stock was down 5% at $32.30 in early trading indications Thursday.